I’ve never been a java junkie.
Coke, energy drinks, and tea, on the other hand—at one point in my life, they probably made up 70% of my daily liquid intake.
But the sad truth is: caffeine might be hurting you.
Your daily coffee fix might have proven health benefits—like boosting the metabolism and lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease—but some of us should be kicking the caffeine habit altogether.
Here’s why giving up caffeine could be the best thing you do for your body this year.
What Happens To the Body When You Give Up Caffeine
1. Anxiety symptoms ease
You’re stuck between a rock and a hard place here. Caffeine stimulates feelings similar to anxiety. But on the flip side of this, taking away your coffee fix may make you more anxious short-term.
Breaking the habit may agitate you early on, but this is a normal part of the withdrawal process. As your body adjusts to its new reality, you’ll begin to feel calmer—naturally.
2. Your skin improves
Replacing caffeinated drinks with water or herbal teas boosts your skin’s hydration levels. Your liver begins to process the toxins out—like a natural detox—and within a month most caffeine quitters notice improvement in their skin’s elasticity and glow.
3. You’ll sleep better
Caffeine has a disruptive effect on your quality of sleep. Its stimulant effect makes it difficult to fall asleep—even if you avoid it for up to 6 hours before bed. This can be even worse for older adults, as our bodies take longer to process caffeine as we age.
Caffeine also affects our melatonin levels, impacting negatively on our internal body clock. This reduces our total sleep time, and prevents us from reaching the type of sleep that allows our bodies to restore themselves.
4. If your caffeine fix comes from sugary drinks, you’ll lose weight by quitting
Replacing that grande salted caramel latte with a herbal tea could save to in the calories department. Energy drinks are full of empty calories, too—with almost zero nutritional value to your body. Cutting out the sugary caffeine fix will reduce your overall calorie intake, and drop the amount of sugar you’re putting into your body.
5. Your teeth won’t fall apart
Think about how much a coffee stains your clothes when you have a spill. It’s doing that to your teeth, too. That’s because coffee contains tannins, which break down in water. Tannins cause color to stick to your teeth and leave yellow stains. Switching to tea instead of quitting caffeine altogether won’t help—tea has tannins, too.
6. If you’re TTC, kick the caffeine for a healthy pregnancy
One major study examined the effect caffeinated drinks have on conception and pregnancy.
The study found that:
- Drinking 300mg of caffeine per day increases the risk of early pregnancy loss.
- Drinking 600mg or more of caffeine per day doubles the risk of miscarriage.
- Caffeine did not impact the time it took for couples to conceive naturally.
If you’re planning to start your family, giving up coffee is going to end up on your To Do list eventually.
7. Your medications could be more effective
Caffeine is known to interact with some prescription medications—making them less effective or causing side-effects. If you are taking anti-bacterial, anti-depressant, or asthma medications, you should speak to your doctor if you’re not ready to kick the caffeine just yet.
8. Your gut will thank you
Caffeine is known to aggravate a lot of digestive conditions. Acid reflux, gout, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and even diabetes can be negatively impacted by caffeine.
Caffeine and the Body
If you’ve ever had a hot cup of java before bed, you don’t need to be told—caffeine is a stimulant. It stimulates the central nervous system, making you more alert and less tired. Caffeine is also a common ingredient to treat drowsiness, headaches, and migraines.
Can It Suppress Appetite
Short answer: yes.
You can find caffeine in weight loss supplements for exactly that reason. It can help suppress appetite, give you more energy in the short-term, and help boost concentration.
More recent studies, however, have shown that the link between caffeine and appetite suppression might not be so solid. The study showed that using decaffeinated coffee also significantly lowers hunger levels, and increased PYY. Increased PYY acts to reduce hunger signals in the body.
Why Coffee Can Create Anxiety
Because caffeine is a stimulant, it causes the same jittery, nervous feeling we get when we feel anxiety. Caffeine stimulates the fight or flight response, which can aggravate anxiety sufferers and potentially trigger an anxiety attack.
Looking for quick tips on how to reduce caffeine induced anxiety?
- Delay the first cup until after you’ve eaten a protein meal. Experts have discovered that protein can minimize the negative effects of caffeine.
- Pay attention to your emotions in the hours following your first coffee. Do you notice patterns?
- Find a replacement for your caffeine drinks later in the day.
- Drink more water.
Caffeine isn’t bad or good—it’s just a product. And like many other products, it’s not suitable for everyone.
If you think you could benefit from the tips we’ve shared here, then giving up caffeine could be a positive move for you.
Preparation is key to giving up any habit, so be sure to put healthy new habits in place as you make the change, and stay hydrated to help withdrawal and headaches. The benefits of giving up caffeine make it well worth the very short-term difficulties.